Monitoring and Evaluation of Radio and TV Programs: Drama/Comedy – Issue: Sex and Violence (Part 2) Continuing the

discussion of the current Philippine drama, I have searched the program schedules of the two biggest network company of our country, the GMA-7 and ABS-CBN. Starting with the dramas after their noontime shows Eat Bulaga and ShowTime, around quarter to three o’clock, we are offered Dugong Buhay and Unforgettable. I have observed that the level of explicit sex and violence here are somewhat medium to almost high, and reason for this might be the afternoon lax and sleepy atmosphere, thus they are trying to keep their audiences awake. Going to the next three sets of dramas: May Isang Pangarap vs. Bukod Kang Pinagpala, Glory Jane vs. Kakambal ni Eliana, and, To the Beautiful You vs. Big, it can be inferred that these programs are aimed to the general public, of any age group, since these have light tone of dramas, and reasons might be the timeslot wherein the children have already gone home from school. After the afternoon dramas, we have now another set of evening prime time dramas in which there are obvious increasing “intensity” of explicit and implied sex and violence as time goes on. Also, the canons of Philippine drama are largely present here, the heavy elements of crying, revenge, fighting scenes etc. First we have Juan dela Cruz vs. Indio, followed by Ina, Kapatid, Anak vs. Mundo Mo’y Akin, and then next are Apoy sa Dagat vs. Love and Lies, and lastly Missing You vs. Queen and I (Korean dramas). Now that the different programs from both channels have been identified, what I would like to point out are the dangers these shows bring to the young audiences, for with the implicit and explicit scenes of sex and violence, these are being translated to the clueless and curious mind of the youngster, thus resulting to unguided and experimental sexual acts, as seen in the rise of children being harassed and/or raped, statistically and as shown in the studies (culture of silence). Overall, for me, the meaning of sex I would like to impart to the Filipino viewers is not just the biological male/female or the physical acts of sex, for it is rather “the sex” or the ones in power in our society, which is the male sex. This patriarchal system wherein the male sex is the dominant sex (oppressor) and the female sex is just a subordinate sex (oppressed), continues to exist and reign even in the Philippine drama. Furthermore, it is important to identify violence not just on the physical level, which is the most obvious manifestation, but we should be able to recognize it as prevailing on and affecting the other levels or aspects of a person’s life (emotional, psychological, social, etc.). And we should keep in mind that these are the repercussions of our own socio-historical and cultural experiences wherein we decode the coded messages we get from watching television drama. That’s why we should not just watch it as it is, or be a passive, gullible and unmindful audience, but it is very important to be a critical reader of these coded texts for us to identify the prevalence of the ideologies I have mentioned.

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